Police Foils Vendors Meeting in Kabale

Anti-riot police on Tuesday blocked a meeting between a section of vendors and Sam Arineitwe, the Central Division LCIII Chairperson.    

More than 150 vendors converged at central division offices in Kigongi, Kabale town to meet Arineitwe and express their disappointment against the ongoing demolition of Kabale Police Barracks playground market. The vendors argued that the demolition of the temporary market was done hurriedly on orders of Kabale Municipality Mayor, Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha and Town clerk, Justin Barekye.

But, when the meeting started, anti-riot police under the command of Abel Ruganza, Kabale District Police Commander stormed division offices and ordered the vendors to vacate. Ruganza argued that the meeting contravened with public order management act since they had no clearance from the office of the Inspector General of Police. 

Ruganza also said that the police cannot allow a meeting chaired by Arineitwe and yet top Municipality authorities are not involved. Ruganza’s order angered vendors led by Geoffrey Kakiza and Moreen Ampeire, who accused the police They accuse the police of being under the influence of Byamigisha to harass them.  

Ruganza also attempted to arrest Arineitwe, but Arinetiwe telephoned Raphael Magyezi, the Local Government Minister.  Magyezi intervened and asked Ruganza not to arrest Arineitwe.

Byamugisha insists that the meeting chaired by Arineitwe over market issues is null and void. He explained that being (Byamugisha) a member of the security committee was not aware.

Chong Chuing International Construction (CICO), a Chinese Company was contracted to upgrade the 23 Billion Shillings Market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III in 2019. It was handed it over to the government last month.

The relocation of vendors from Kabale Police Barracks playground to the new market ended on Sunday.  Relocation has been marred by irregularities cited by a section of vendors and lock-up owners.

About 160 lock-up owners led by Rev.Canon Jack Katarishangwa, Simon Mashemerewa, and Richard Muhanguzi last month petitioned the court asking for a permanent injunction on the relocation of vendors to the new modern market citing irregularities.

However, the High Court on Monday threw out the application and called for mediation.  

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